The country’s best athletes in both men’s and women’s categories will be seen in action in the 5th National Race Walking Championship, to be held here on February 17 and 18.
The men’s 50km and boys and girls 10km races will be held on February 17 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium while the men’s and women’s 20km competition will be held the next day at Vinay Marg.
Star gymnast Dipa Karmarkar will be one of the guests who will flag off the championship, which will see around 80 of India’s best race walkers in action.
The 20km race walk will be the qualifying event for both the Commonwealth Games (April 4-15) and Asian Games (August 18-September 2), to be held in Gold Coast and Jakarta, respectively.
The men’s 50km race walk will serve as the qualifying event for the Asian Games. There is no men’s 50km race walk event in the Commonwealth Games.
The qualification benchmark for the Commonwealth Games (for 20km race walk event) has been pegged at 1:22:00 for men and 1:35:00 for women. The qualification benchmark for the Asian Games (for 20km race walk) has been set at 1:22:00 for men and 1:34:54 for women.
National campers Irfan Kolothun Thodi, Manish Rawat, Khushbir Kaur, B Soumya, Priyanka Kumari, Ravina, Shanty Kumary and Deepmala Devi have confirmed participation in the championship.
“This year the field looks really strong and we have been fortunate to have the championship right before a major Games,” AFI Secretary General C K Valson said.
The championship is promoted by Meraki Sport & Entertainment while leading energy drink Enerzal is another partner.